What is an orthodontist assistant or orthodontic assistant? (OA) An orthodontist assistant job plays a very important role in the orthodontist’s office. They are considered a second pair of hands for the orthodontist. Not only does the assistant offer hands on assistance to the orthodontist during various dental procedures, they are also responsible for various office duties and handling patient care.
What does an OA do? An orthodontist assistant is responsible for preparing a number of dental materials for use. They may need to sanitize equipment and prepare mixtures of compounds needed for various dental procedures. Many assistants are also certified to take x-rays and make impressions of the patients teeth. They are also responsible for assisting the orthodontist by handing him or her the required tools needed for specific dental procedures. Assistants are usually responsible for numbing the area of the patients mouth prior to their dental work. Many times, they make adjustments to a patients braces They also give the patient advice on hygiene and instruct them on care after a dental procedure has been performed.
In addition to assisting the orthodontist with dental procedures, an orthodontist assistant may also be responsible for administrative duties. Some of these duties include scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records and accounts, ordering supplies for the office, and other clerical duties. Some assistants are also considered office managers and are responsible for all of the administrative duties, such as organizing patient records and billing the patients insurance company. The exact responsibilities will vary depending on state regulations and the specific orthodontist’s requests.
How does one become one? Some orthodontist assistants are not required any to have any type of education beyond a high school diploma. These assistants learn their specific duties on the job. However, many states require some sort of certification. The duties performed are usually regulated by the state in which the orthodontist office is located. If your state requires a license or certification, most dental assistant schools provide programs that can be completed within a year. The particular office may also have specific qualifications that are required to obtain a position with them. Courses in dental hygiene are not usually required, but may be very helpful in obtaining a career in this field. For information on the requirements in your state, contact a local community college or technical school on the state requirements to become an orthodontic assistant. The overall demand for these positions is on the rise.